The Santurce Crabbers are one of the most storied franchises in the Caribbean. Their first owner, Pedrin Zorrilla, was a visionary, with many Negro League and big league contacts. Zorrilla signed up such eventual Hall of Famers as Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Ray Dandridge and Leon Day during the team's first decade. Santurce was the most successful winter league team of the 1950s, with three Caribbean Series titles. Roberto Clemente, Ruben Gomez, Willie Mays, Willard Brown and Bob Thurman played for the Crabbers during those glory years. Tom Lasorda used to pitch for them.
Santurce set up working agreements with the Giants, Orioles, Dodgers and Astros, among other teams. Earl Weaver and Frank Robinson were team managers and Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Reggie Jackson and Robin Yount were early-career Crabbers. Orlando Cepeda and Tony (Tany) Perez played their entire winter league careers with Santurce. Lee Smith, the major leagues' all-time saves leader, pitched for them. Juan Gonzalez and Jose Cruz, Jr., are two of the team's Puerto Rican stars in the 1990s.